Page 579 - Week 02 - Thursday, 19 February 2015

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Mr Corbell: Madam Deputy Speaker—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Corbell, on the point of order.

Mr Corbell: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I understand that the Leader of the Opposition does not want to have to defend his federal leader on this embarrassing matter. However, standing order 58 requires:

A Member shall not digress from the subject matter of any question under discussion:

It is quite clear what the subject matter is. As much as he dislikes it, he has risen to speak in this debate and he has to address the subject matter under discussion. That is what the standing order requires.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Corbell. Mr Hanson, I stand by my ruling before. I would like you to become relevant to the actual subject matter which is before you.

MR HANSON: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. I will, in accordance with your ruling, move to limit my speech only to the matters, unfortunately, related to this. When you hear the debate, the interjections and the points of order from those opposite you get a flavour of what the Labor Party are trying to achieve here with their juvenile, immature, high school debating tactics. As Mr Corbell says, “We want you to talk about how it is embarrassing for you. Come on, Mr Hanson! That’s what we’re trying to do here. We think we’ve got something embarrassing. That’s what we’re going to spend this Assembly’s time doing.” He was thinking, “He might be embarrassed by his Prime Minister. Let’s have that as the debate.”

That is what those opposite are trying to do. It is pretty unedifying from the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister—and no doubt the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services will join in as well—that this is essentially an attempt to try and run a high political wedge motion through this place rather than focus on issues that are of import to the people of Canberra. But there is collateral damage in this, of course, because in Mr Barr’s press release “Knights and dames have no place in modern Australia” he is neglecting the fact that a number of very eminent Australians have accepted the award of Knight of the Order of Australia.

According to what Mr Barr is saying, Peter Cosgrove has no place in modern Australia. He is a knight. Mr Barr, the Chief Minister, is saying, “He’s got no role, no place, in modern Australia.” Peter Cosgrove, who accepted this award, according to Mr Barr, has no place in modern Australia. Marie Bashir, the former Governor of New South Wales and a great advocate for some of the underprivileged in this country, according to Andrew Barr, according to his press release, has no place in modern Australia. This is an attack on Angus Houston’s reputation. This is an attack on the status that has been accorded him, which he has accepted. He has accepted this award. He has said, “Yes, I take this award; I accept this award.” What we see today from those opposite is that they are collateral damage. “Let’s tarnish the reputation of those

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